Aug. 31, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. – Making its first trip away from Tucson on the young season, the Arizona volleyball team opened the Pepperdine Asics Classic by sweeping Cal State Fullerton, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-22), Friday evening inside Firestone Fieldhouse.
The Wildcats improved to 3-1 on the season, while dropping Cal State Fullerton to 2-2 on the year. Arizona has now defeated Cal State Fullerton six straight times and the Cats improve their all-time record to 15-2 against the Titans.
Arizona struggled a bit offensively by hitting a season-low .215, but the defense came through by limiting Cal State Fullerton to .037 hitting. The Cats also out-blocked the Titans, 8-4.
Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) led the UA offense with 15 kills and has now racked up double-digit kills in each match so far this season. Kingdon also added eight digs and two blocks. Taylor Arizobal (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) recorded her second double-double of the season with 10 kills and 12 digs. Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) dished out 30 assists from her setter position to go along with five digs and four blocks. Freshman Halli Amaro (Los Alamitos, Calif.) continues to be efficient as she added a season-high 10 kills on .500 hitting with four blocks. Meanwhile, Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) and Ronni Lewis (San Jose, Calif.) recorded 12 and 10 digs, respectively, to lead the UA defense.
Cal State Fullerton jumped out to an early 6-0 advantage in the opening set, but Arizona won the next three points to stay within reach. The Wildcats slowly inched closer and finally took their first lead at 12-11. Then, the Cats won the next three points to take a four-point advantage. UA never looked back from there as the Wildcats cruised to a 25-17 win in the set. Arizona hit just .139 in the set, but held the Titans to -.125 hitting in the frame. The Wildcats also out-blocked the Titans, 5-2.
After trailing for much of the early stages of the second set, UA turned a 12-9 deficit into a 16-12 advantage after going on an incredible 7-0 run. It looked as if the Wildcats would cruise through the later stages of the frame much like they did in the opening set, but the Titans went on a 5-0 run of their own to regain a one point lead. After both teams traded points several times, the Wildcats broke a 23-23 tie by winning the next two points to clinch the set victory. Arizona once again struggled on the offensive end by hitting just .171, but the defense held Cal State Fullerton to .057 hitting in the set. Kingdon led the Wildcats with six kills for the second straight set.
Neither team could pull away in the third set, but Cal State Fullerton did own a two-point lead at 18-16 somewhat late in the frame. However, Arizona reeled off five straight points to take a three-point advantage at 21-18. After the Titans pulled to within two at 24-22, freshman setter Lauren Fuller (Los Angeles, Calif.) notched her only kill of the match to clinch the victory for the Cats. The UA offense was much more efficient in the final set by hitting a match-high .367.
Cal State Fullerton was led in the match by Bre Moreland with 12 kills, while Gabrielle Dewberry paced the defense with 11 digs.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday as they will continue the Pepperdine Asics Classic against Jiangsu China in an exhibition match at 11 a.m. before facing the host and No. 13-ranked Pepperdine in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.